Pierre Gasly

New en­try

Autosport (UK) - - F1 SEASON REVIEW | TOP 10 DRIVERS -

It can be hard to make a big im­pres­sion in a Toro Rosso, given it re­mains an er­ratic team in terms of per­for­mance, but Gasly’s high points this sea­son con­vinced Red Bull to pro­mote him to the A-team and showed he’s got what it takes to make a name for him­self at the front of the field.

Bahrain (where he was fourth) and Hun­gary (sixth) stand out, for these were the week­ends where the Toro Rosso had a good turn of pace and Gasly ab­so­lutely nailed it. Both were what could be termed ‘grand prix win­ning drives in the mid­field’, and in Bahrain he twice had to fight off the com­bat­ive Kevin Mag­nussen to hold on to his po­si­tion.

There was more to Gasly’s sea­son than this. De­spite un­der­achiev­ing in Q3, he was quick in Monaco, while as the sea­son pro­gressed he showed he had the abil­ity to nick the odd point in tricky cir­cum­stances. But it was the way he drove that most caught the at­ten­tion. From the first lap of FP1, he’s al­ways su­per-com­mit­ted and not afraid of the car mov­ing around, mak­ing him one of the most spec­tac­u­lar driv­ers to watch.

His con­sis­tency could be crit­i­cised, al­though it’s hard to sep­a­rate driver from car per­for­mance in this re­gard. And while he wasn’t as far ahead of team-mate Bren­don Hart­ley on pace as the points may sug­gest, Gasly’s ten­dency to be on the right side of a small time split in qual­i­fy­ing sug­gests he can de­liver un­der pres­sure. He’ll need to do that in spades next sea­son up against Max Ver­stap­pen at Red Bull.

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